It was a pretty relaxed, albeit short, weekend here. Saturday was a run of the mill, utilitarian day. The highlight was my short run in the morning before the sun came out in full force. I love the part of town we live in because it means that I can pass by the State Capitol on my route. It’s a huge (the largest state capitol in the nation), lovely, Renaissance Revival-styled building, the exterior of which is built entirely out of sunset red granite. I never realized the immensity of the structure until I began running along side it. Staring up at the vaulted-dome that penetrates the sky 15 feet higher than its national counterpart, it’s hard to not be… well, impressed. Since watching Cowspiracy, I’ve been rather down on how humans have been reshaping the landscape for the worse. It’s nice to feel in awe of something beautiful we’ve done.

Sunday was an admittedly more interesting day. Earlier last week, I found a recipe for maple doughnuts. I pinned it and moved on, thinking nothing more would come of its discovery. I’ve made doughnuts exactly once in my life. After I was hired at my first real, big-girl job, I was (and probably admittedly still am..) making very irresponsible purchases. One of these frivolous expenditures was a bright yellow, doughnut-shaped mini doughnut maker. When I brought it inside for the first time, JB looked at me like I was insane. And for three years, he was right. After that initial batch, the doughnut maker sat in the cupboard, unused, mocking me every time I glimpsed it while reaching for a can that got pushed to the back of the pantry. Until Sunday. Sunday, the doughnut maker made its triumphant return!

For whatever reason, I was unable to forget about the idea of a sweet, maple-y doughnut. Perhaps I’m trying to will fall into existence by making a variety of autumn-flavored treats. The first experiment in this noble goal was the Pumpkin Creme Pies (recipe can be found here). The second are these doughnuts!

As usual, I mucked up a lot of this recipe’s execution. I spilled a good cup (several precious doughnuts’ worth) of the batter on the floor. By the time they were all made, a light dusting of powdered sugar coated nearly all of my counter space. Everything (I repeat: everything) was left sticky by the maple syrup. But what fun would baking be without a little mess? These doughnuts were worth it. The original recipe yields 12, but my mini-doughnut maker stretched that into about 18. I imagine if I hadn’t spilled the batter onto the floor, and if I had been using actual pastry bags to pipe the doughnuts instead of a large ziploc bag, I could have gotten closer to 24. Either way, the 18 did not survive the day. JB and I ate close to 10 right away. In order to remedy this, I went on a 6 mile hike with my brother later that morning. He came over for lunch afterwards and ate 3 doughnuts while I prepped a Spicy Thai Curry Corn Soup, and the rest seemed to disappear into the ether. I call that a success. I’m excited to continue with more doughnut experimentation. I’m thinking a batch of apple cider might be next…

maple donuts

If you’re looking for more recipe ideas, this is what is on the menu in the Creature Free household this week:


I was a little apprehensive about using coconut yogurt as the base of the cheese sauce, but holy cow, were my concerns misplaced. The smoked paprika left it with a smoky (not surprising), cheddar-y flavor. The best part? A serving clocks in under 350 calories because the “noodles” are made from spaghetti squash. It is a guilt free way to enjoy a creamy, broccoli filled casserole. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I received my September Petit Vour box this weekend. Be sure to check back for the review in the evening.


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